To My Wife, On This Mother’s Day

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MOTHER & SON, ON THEIR FIRST FULL DAY.

Hi Honey,

Time is flying by and today is another Mother’s Day.  Today, Jacob and I celebrate our good fortune to have you in our lives.  You are so worth celebrating (both what you do and who you are) and the only regret that I have, on this day, is that I do not celebrate you enough the other 364 days of the year.  The fact that you never hold this oversight against me is just another reason why today is a happy day.

Although, I also remember that not too long ago, Mother’s Day was the hardest of days.  Of course I celebrate and give thanks for my own mother today (Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!), but this one is for you, Carita.

I remember how “motherhood” eluded you.  And, by extension, us.  I remember how you waited and how you despaired and how you prayed…I remember how brave you were.  But it always felt like the unwinnable prize, the unreachable goal. Motherhood was that inaccessible club that you couldn’t get into, like the United Club Lounge at Tokyo Narita that we enviously peeked into on the mid-point layover of that 24-hour-long trip to Asia.

I remember the doctors’ appointments.  I remember the heartbreaking calls inevitably following those doctors’ appointments.  I remember the needles and the injections.  I remember the surgeries.  I remember looking at our bank account statements and wondering if we’d just spent our savings on yet another fruitless pursuit.  I remember our unborn children.

And, when even your capacity for hope and faith was exhausted, I remember God’s grace carrying us – from those days to this day.

I want to still remember those days.  Especially today.  It’s not as if all of that just went away when you became a mother.  I know that Mother’s Day is a bittersweet day for you, as I know it must be for many others. We know others who are unable to have children and those who have lost children. We know those who have lost their mothers and those who never had someone to even call “mother.”  Today must be a complicated day for them, too.

It is the seeming lack of nuance surrounding Mother’s Day that prompts my thoughts today.  It never felt like there was room on Mother’s Day for both the bitter and the sweet.  As if, by acknowledging the sad and broken things, we couldn’t celebrate the joyous things anymore. Or, if by celebrating something joyous (for, indeed, Jacob’s presence in our family is joyous) it betrayed the memories and significance of harder times.  But it doesn’t have to be that way, at least not for us.  We can have room for both.

So, today, I celebrate with you and I celebrate you.  I celebrate the day that God made you a “mother” and each day since.  I also remember all of those prior days that made up the steps along your journey. Thank you for allowing me on the journey with you.  I love you.

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6 thoughts on “To My Wife, On This Mother’s Day

  1. I only recently—maybe 2 months ago– found your film diary of meeting Jacob, and i was so touched and awed to see parents fall in love—immediately. It was a beautiful experience to be able to share that, and I thank you. You are such a fortunate couple, and Jacob is such a fortunate little boy. I hope he always knows just how fortunate he is. Well, he won’t, of course. But, that’s part of being a parent , too. I want to see further posts in your life with Jacob—I saw a picture a few minutes ago of Carita with a baby that I think was not Jacob. Is there another child now? I am not very technical, so I cannot really find my way around the site very well. I am probably missing a lot of very interesting things. I will figure it out. I admire you two so very much. I can see, too, that you have been so very blessed. I am happy that your child, or children, are happy and safe. I worry so much about children in this scary world. Bless you two. Your faith and happiness are like drops in water—-it causes ripples that just keep moving out in ever widening circles, spreading joy. If you are EVER in Memphis, please do not hesitate to call or email me—I am in the phone book and you have my email. We have such an excellent zoo that Jacob would love, and my grandchildren would just love to spoil him. Ya’ll please have the good life you so richly deserve.
    Sincerely,
    Doris A Rudy

    • Hi Doris,

      Whatever struggles you’re having with navigating through the site are a reflection on our poorly organized blog. Thanks for persevering.

      Thank you also for writing a comment and for your well-wishes. I know that you mean them with kindness. I don’t mean to get “preachy” but the reality is that Carita and I don’t deserve any of it. We definitely hoped for a good life, longed for it. We’ve certainly felt entitled to a “good” life and felt so cheated by God when we didn’t get what we felt we deserved. But the truth is that God has given us, by His grace, what we have not earned. So now, we are doubly blessed in both what He has given to us and also in knowing that it was He who has given it. We are blessed, indeed!

      I sense that you are right, too, about parenting and how we don’t do it for the gratitude of our children. Makes a lot of sense, both from my short experience as a parent and also with my much more extensive experience as a generally unappreciative child towards my own parents.

      Lastly, the photo attached to this blog post is, indeed, of Jacob. We are still waiting to adopt child #2.

    • Thank you very much, Steph. I had these thoughts bouncing around in my head the past week or so when I overheard a woman on her phone at a Walgreens greeting card section talk about how she hated Mother’s Day. You were one of the people on my mind when I wrote this.

  2. I have 3 busy boys and it is too easy at times to lose sight of the blessing that we are gifted with having children. Your video and blog is a beautiful reminder to embrace that gift. Thank you.

    • Hello Melissa,
      Thank you for dropping by! We certainly could fill some pages just listing out the lessons that parenthood is teaching us. I’m so often caught up in the anticipation of watching our son grow…the “I can’t wait until he can do ____” mentality…that I do forget to enjoy the daily experience of being a parent. Recently, as Jacob and I found ourselves on a longer-than-anticipated walk, he stopped and lifted his arms towards me and asked me to carry him. My initial reaction was to tell him that he’s a big boy now and that he’s too heavy for me to carry him around anymore. I thought about my “responsibility” to teach him how to grow up. As I was about to tell him “no”, I remembered that he’s only 4 years old…and then I looked at that cute/pathetic look on his face…and then I reminded myself that there will come a day when he won’t be caught dead having his Dad carry him around. I picked him up, then, with a heart full of gratitude. So I certainly agree with you.

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